The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

#SJW2024: Why I love being a student journalist

“These skills will continue to be refined throughout my journey at HHS and also will follow me in my future career.”

Being a student journalist comes with its stress: beating deadlines, arranging interviews, and keeping up with yearbook spreads. But, Journalism also brings a creative element into my life that has evolved into something I truly love doing.

Hi, my name is Ellie Rogiers and I am a freshman currently enrolled in the Intro. To Journalism course here at HHS.

In our class period with the help of peer tutors and our advisor, Beth Brubaker, we make stories come to life. Whether that be in an article, through a yearbook spread, or a photo project.

At the beginning of the year, we were introduced to something called Highlands Stories. The project highlighted different donated Highlands “artifacts” that we would try to capture into a story. I enjoyed this project because we were able to interview some of Highland’s oldest Alumni. Doing so brought into perspective how much tradition and history our area has. It also made me appreciate even the littlest things about our small town because each place has a story.

Toward the end of the second quarter, we started working with Yearbook Avenue to create our week-by-week spread for the week of November 21-26. Working solo or in a pair, we all created the same spread, but they could contain differences within the design, content mods, or the feature story. At the end of the assignment, Brubaker and students within her publication class would decide which spread would be chosen for the final yearbook. This project opened my eyes to a new world of creativity. Not only did we need interpersonal skills to collect data for example, through an interview, we also had to use a program we had never used before called Adobe InDesign. InDesign took patience to learn, but once we caught the hang of it, we understood that our elements of design were endless. We could explore tools like the color, font, size, shape, and layout of our spread. My partner, Adalyn Cattani, and I’s spread had been chosen to be placed in the yearbook, but with the help of a few modifications from official yearbook editors. From this project, I learned that whatever I create, I have full artistic imagination to convey the story in a way that people will remember. I believe that is why me and my partner Adalyn had been chosen for this.

Throughout the third quarter of journalism, I and others signed up to photograph different sports games or competitions. So far, I have photographed two basketball games. One on January 30th and the other on February 5th. The first photos we took on January 30th turned out to be grainy, but we learned from our mistakes and took improved photos at the following game. Despite still being a beginner when it comes to operating a camera, both sets of photos turned out suitable enough to be posted as photo galleries on the Hilltopper. This opportunity taught me that even though the outcome wasn’t perfect, I still was able to capture important moments throughout the games, and that’s all that mattered.

Up to this point in the school year, being a student journalist has taught me how to navigate the vast world of artistry in many different aspects. I have learned how to write, design, and capture different areas of school life. These skills will continue to be refined throughout my journey at HHS and also will follow me in my future career.

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